Monday, June 27, 2005


Ever since Bob upgraded his PC, I haven't had a scanner. He upgraded to a newer version of Windows--XP? I don't know, but I think that was it, and the scanner wouldn't work anymore, and there weren't any new drivers to be had for it. The scanner--not a terribly expensive one, but still--was suddenly just a large paperweight.

It was inconvenient, anyway, because it was connected to Bob's computer, so any time I needed to scan something, I had to go upstairs and use the PC, and it doesn't have Photoshop on it, so I'd have to save the image and email it to myself, then open it on my Mac to edit it. Better than nothing, certainly, but not very convenient. And I never wanted to bother him when he was in the office, even though he wouldn't have minded, of course. But I ended up saving stuff and trying to do it all at once on the weekends or something, and it was just very unsatisfactory.

Until I lost the ability completely, which became even more unsatisfactory.

So on Friday night I stopped at Best Buy and bought one of the all-in-one machines--scanner, copier, printer. I've never had a printer, I seldom have the need for one, but I'm sure I'll find uses for it now that I have it. And we've neede a copier--Bob uses his fax machine as a copier, so he'll get some good out of that, too.

I had a TON of stuff to fax for a website that I was finishing up this weekend, so I was able to take care of that, and thank goodness I did, because it's broken now. Yes, the scanner lasted all of, um, three days.

Now, I can't swear that it's irretrievably broken, but it sure seems to be. It's noisy--makes those little scanner-like "whir, whir" noises at irregular, closely-spaced intervals, and it's right by my desk, and it was driving me bonkers by startling me at odd moments, so after I mentioned it to Bob for maybe the tenth time, he went over and turned it off, and when I decided I wanted to use it again, and turned it on, every scan is a solid, very brilliant color, either green, or red, or, currently, blue.

I tried everything I could think of last night, I turned it off and on again, rebooted the Mac, eventually uninstalled and reinstalled the software. I moved the scanner as far as I could away from the monitor after reading a tip on some website or other--of course, I could only move it to the length of the USB cord, which wasn't very far. Finally, after searching the company's website in vain for information, I sent off an email to tech support. They responded today with the extremely useful information that I should clean the scanner glass! Now why didn't I think of that??

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Time out

Dinah slept in the basement Monday and Tuesday. Not that she chose to sleep in the basement, but that she was banished to the basement.

Things would seem to be going along okay, but once it got close to bedtime, she would start to freak out. Both nights I had gone up to the bedroom to change my clothes, and it's kind of become a tradition to lie down on the bed and she jumps up and gets some cuddle time and usually Bob will lie down, too, and she'll sit on my chest for awhile, then his, and it's very funny, actually. I sing to her.

But the last few nights, if Pyewacket walks in the room, Dinah starts growling, and if we don't immediately get up and separate them, they'll fight. Dinah's always a little weird, but for the most part everything's fine everywhere else in the house, but she doesn't seem to want Pyewacket to come into the bedroom.

Last night it happened, and Bob grabbed Pyewacket and went into the office with her, and I picked Dinah up, took her downstairs and deposited her in the basement. She sat right on the other side of the door, crying and scratching, and Bob and Pyewacket came down and played with her through the door.

Bob was shoving her wire toy through the door and moving it around, and she was grabbing it on the other side.

After awhile, after she'd had a chance to calm down, we let her out, and she was fine. We decided to shut them both out of the bedroom over night and see what happened, and everything seemed to be fine, although Pyewacket spent most of the night in the hall, I think, not understanding why she couldn't come in the bedroom.

I'm taking Pye in to the vet on Saturday for her regular check-up, so I'll talk to him about the rest of the situation, too, I guess.

Bob thinks Dinah's mentally ill, and she certainly could be, I guess. She has quite an attachment to me, as Pyewacket does to Bob. She doesn't like it when I'm out after dark, and if I go out for a walk in the evening, Bob says she spends the whole time I'm gone howling and crying, and pacing in front of the window. I remember the time when Pyewacket seemed to be trying to intimidate me into letting her have Bob all to herself, and maybe this is something like that, although I suppose we're attributing them with more motivation than is probably realistic.

When I was taking the picture off the memory card, I saw a bunch of pictures of the back yard that I had never posted, I don't think. My green, lush jungle of a backyard:

And the ash tree I grew from a seed:

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Beat me with a fish

Last night at about 4:00, I got up and went to the bathroom. When I came back to bed, Bob wasn't there--he had gotten up, too. I got back into bed, he came back a few minutes later. Dinah was crouching down at the end of the bed on my side, but Pyewacket wasn't around. I guess she heard us moving around, though, from wherever she was, because she walked into the bedroom and Dinah started growling.

I reached down and touched Dinah, and said, "What's wrong? It's just Pyewacket!" but she kept growling low in her throat, and started that weird keening noise that is always the prelude to a fight.

Meanwhile, Pyewacket's just standing there looking at her, like "WTF is your problem?"

Dinah jumped down off the bed, growling and hissing, and I said, "Knock it off, Dinah!" and Bob started to go get Pyewacket so he could put her in the office or something, but before he could pick her up, she launched herself at Dinah, and before I knew what was happening, I was in the middle of a catfight.

We both started yelling, and the cats are screeching and rolling around, and Bob and I are both naked, and I do not want to get torn up, so I kind of jump out of the middle of it and into the middle of the room, and Bob picks up this gigantic fish pillow he brought me from Branson one year and starts flailing at them with it. It's the size of one of those body pillows, but in the shape and design of a trout or something.

I'm screaming at the cats, the cats are rolling around hissing and yelling, and Bob's standing there beating them with a fish.


He eventually got them separated enough that he could grab Pyewacket, and he took her out and shut the bedroom door. I went back to bed, and Dinah got up there by me, but she's still growling. I said, "Oh, come on, Dinah, the excitement's over, settle down," and she's looking at me, and growling, and her ears go back, and this time I'm lying in bed with no defense, i.e., I couldn't reach the fish.

I said, "Don't you lay your ears back at me," and about that time Bob came back to bed. He left Pye out, and closed the door, but of course she was immediately scratching at the bedroom door to get in, and Dinah starts growling and building up to something, and I thought, oh, for heaven's sake! Like we need this in the middle of the night.

Dinah was so upset that I really didn't want to go to sleep with her in there, so Bob went back out, stuck Pye in the office again, and I put on a robe (so that if the worst happened and she went ballistic, I could minimize the damage), picked up Dinah firmly and carried her down to the basement. I got back upstairs and reported to Bob that "the wild one is safely locked in the basement," and he asked me if she had food and water down there, and I didn't know, so I went back down and filled up the bowls.

So then we could let Pye out, and the three of us went back to bed, with Dinah in time-out in the basement. But of course, by then I couldn't get back to sleep, so after trying for a half hour or so, I got back up and came down to the computer and did some work.

The cats are usually pretty good together. They don't like each other, but they tolerate each other pretty well. Bob had said he thought he heard them tussling downstairs earlier in the night. What usually happens is that one of them is looking out the window, and there's a STRANGE CAT in THEIR YARD, and they don't like that, and they look around and take their aggression out on the CAT IN THE HOUSE who WASN'T DOING ANYTHING. And the humans whose only function is to protect and serve.

Stupid cats.

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Thursday, June 09, 2005


It's weird without Bob here. I'm pretty used to him being gone for the odd weekend here and there, but being gone for this long (nine days) is strange. One thing that happens is that I'm not as anxious to leave work at night; I never leave before 6:00 anyway, but I do try always to leave pretty soon after that, and if I haven't called Bob to let him know that I'm in the car ready to go home by about 6:15, he'll call me. It's not like I'm staying 'til midnight or anything, but I've been here 'til 6:30 or 7:00 most nights.

And then I go to the gym, so by the time I get home it's been after 8:00, and sometimes closer to 9:00. But last night I left work and went straight home (well, I stopped for gas and food, but that's it), and got home right after 7:00. I picked up a salad for dinner, and ate it sitting in front of the television watching Law & Order (is it just my impression, or is Law & Order on almost continuously every night?), then I got out the sweater I'm knitting, and worked on that for awhile.

We were having a thunderstorm, so at about 10:00 I went and shut down the computer and took a book upstairs to bed with me, and read for a half hour or so until I got sleepy. It was a really nice, peaceful night.

Tonight I was going to go to the gym, then as I was driving home I was thinking how tired I was, and I decided to stop and get something to eat and then go home. I went to Chipotlé and took a book, and got a burrito bol, but I couldn't resist getting chips, so then I felt guilty about eating too much, and when I got home I changed my clothes and took a walk. A five mile walk.

So I don't feel guilty any more, but I do feel sore.

We're on summer hours now, which means that if we can--if we don't have any urgent client business--we leave the office mid-afternoon on Friday. So last Friday I went by the license bureau and got the license plates for my new car. And while I was there I decided to order new personalized plates.

They issue new personalized plate designs every five years, and this was the year for the new ones, and I had decided I was kind of tired of the old "WEBGRRL" one, so I had decided to just let it go rather than getting (and paying for) new plates. But when I mentioned that to Cello, he suggested I get ones with "WILLA" on them, and I liked that idea. I'm not sure why I didn't do that in the first place. I'll get them in two to three months, depending, I guess, on how long it takes the inmates to make them.

I'm not sure about the buffalo, though.

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Paranoid v. foolhardy

Last night at about 11:00 I decided I wanted to knit a sweater, so I went down to the basement for some yarn, and stepped into water.

It's been raining for several days here, and it looked like the water had just seeped up through cracks in the cement floor, but it was kind of hard to tell. It was pretty much everywhere. I think it's been a couple of years since that's happened, and we had most of the stuff up off the floor on bricks or other things that water wouldn't hurt, but there were some boxes on the floor that I had probably put down there after the last time, after enough time had passed that I had forgotten that it was possible.

The basement is unfinished, but we had a bunch of old throw rugs down there, so most of those were sodden, in addition to the boxes. Although I suppose that might have helped keep the water contained. Hard to tell.

It was so late that I couldn't face doing anything about it last night, so I just got my yarn and came upstairs, and started the sweater, and went to bed at about midnight, figuring I'd get up early today and take care of it. So I spent most of the day down there, mopping up water, filling trashbags with things that were ruined, lugging the trashbags up the stairs and out into the garage so that I could drag them down the driveway tonight for trash pick-up tomorrow.

Bob's out of town.

This kind of thing is a lot easier when you have help.

And also, man, it's hard work. My back started to get tight, and the last few bags were pretty hard to get up the stairs. I could, of course, have left them for Bob to bring up when he gets home, but he's going to be gone all week, and I didn't want wet things sitting down there that long. I kept the cell phone in my pocket all day, as I do almost all the time, even at home, if Bob's gone.

I know it's silly, but when I'm at home by myself, I can't help thinking what would happen if I fell down the stairs--as I've done before--or hurt myself some other way (like the time I pulled the vacuum cleaner down on top of my head on the stairs) or locked myself out of the house or something. I realize that that's paranoid, but I figure it's better to be paranoid than dead.

And especially when I'm working in the basement, I always have the phone with me. Today, when my back started tightening up, I was thinking, okay, if my back goes out, I can call 911, but they'd have to break in the front door in order to come down to the basement and get me. I have my neighbors' phone numbers programmed into my phone, but none of them have a key to the house. My parents do, but I wouldn't want them to have to drive all the way out here. Bob's parents do, too, and they're closer, so I guess I'd call them and have them come over the unlock the house. Or I could call my sister, and she'd have to drive over to my parents and get the key, and come out here, because now that I think about it, my dad couldn't drive over here anyway, because he just had eye surgery . . . The things that go through my mind!

Anyway, nothing happened except that I'm exhausted and my back is sore, but the basement is in pretty good shape, and all the trash is out at the curb. I decided to stop before I actually got everything done in the basement -- some of the boxes over by the wall look like they might be wet on the bottom, but I decided I wasn't going to tackle it. There's paranoid, and then there's foolhardy.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005


It's kinda been one of those weeks. And on top of it, this morning two people remarked that I hadn't written in quite a long time, and since those two people were Bob and Dan, I figured I should probably listen to them and write something.

My dad had eye surgery this morning, and I was worried about that, but he came through it fine, and is at home. I don't know how long it will be until they know whether it was successful or not (he had something happen in one of his eyes that caused him to lose sight in that eye), but at least he got through the surgery okay.

And my brother-in-law was in a motorcycle accident over the weekend, and has several broken bones--ribs, his hand, etc.--but he's home, too.

And Bob's got something weird going on with a facial nerve or something that causes him to feel like--in his words--he's being electrocuted several times a day.

So yeah, it's been one of those weeks.

Bob went to the dentist this morning to see whether it might be a tooth-related problem, and the dentist said he wasn't sure what it was, but that he thought it might be an inflamed tooth related to overnight tooth-grinding, so he gave him a prescription for antibiotics and is going to order an appliance for him, and told him to get a football mouth-guard as a temporary measure. Bob's going on a fishing trip for ten days, leaving this weekend, so I'm not thrilled about not having the problem solved before he leaves, but one of the guys going with him is a doctor, so I guess, worst case, he'll have someone with him who can give him a pain pill or something . . .

We had a really good Memorial Day weekend. My Saturday was normal--running errands: bank, post office, grocery store, etc.--but Bob didn't have any plans on Sunday, and didn't have to work, so we spent the day together, which we don't do very often.

We went to the movies and saw the new Star Wars movie, Revenge of the Sith, then we went out for a late lunch at a Mexican restaurant, then went home, and I passed out for about three hours. When I finally woke up, we did some yard work and took the kitties out in the backyard on their leashes. So it was a pretty full day.

Bob got up early Monday morning and went fishing, so I slept really late, then got up and planted flowers. So there was relaxation, and production. A very nice weekend.

I've got the iPod on "Shuffle," and it contains 944 songs currently, which leads to some interesting juxtapositions. I wrote the first 20 down this morning while I was working. In turned out to be a really mixed-up selection. In order:

  1. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning - Richard Thompson
  2. Crazy Dream - Los Lonely Boys
  3. Fruitcakes - Jimmy Buffett
  4. What a Wonderful World - Keb' Mo'
  5. Pipeline - The Routers
  6. The Girl I Love - David Olney
  7. Sabra Girl - Nickel Creek
  8. Seuls - Les Choristes
  9. Dig Down Deep - Marc Cohn
  10. All I Want is You - David Knopfler
  11. Clocks - Coldplay
  12. American Roulette - Robbie Robertson
  13. Casino Nation - Jackson Browne
  14. Cannonball - Damien Rice
  15. Half a Step Away - Paul Young
  16. Joe DiMaggio's Done It Again - Billy Bragg and Wilco
  17. Regresa a Mi - Il Divo
  18. Memories of You - Ryan Adams
  19. Right About Now - Paul Young
  20. Somewhere in Your Head - Paul Carrack

(I especially liked "Regresa a Mi" following "Joe DiMaggio's Done it Again," although the segue from Robbie Robertson to Jackson Brown's "Casino Nation" was nice, too.)

(I just found out that David is going to be playing some dates next week with Donovan, which makes me want to go download Sunshine Superman . . .)

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